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  1. #41  
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  2. #42  
    Quote Originally Posted by tcrunner View Post
    It can be reasonably argued that because the duly elected President of the United States is the Commander in Chief under the Constitution, and that the UCMJ serves as the legal mandate for all military personnel, all uniformed personnel are aware that at all times, public and private, they are to demonstrate respect. Where military personnel are concerned, there is no distinction between "showing respect" and "having respect". Otherwise, they are subject to prosecution.
    No....no it can't be reasonably argued unless you just argue about anything. Not to beat a dead horse, but it ain't in the Constitution. It simply is not there. Not sure why someone can't admit it. Many folks have to listen to their boss or they are fired, but I would imagine many don't necessarily respect their boss. In fact, I would bet there are quite a number of military folks serving this country that while they will do what Obama says, they simply don't respect him....should we require that all these people step down from the military?
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  3.    #43  
    There will be legions conservative commentators laying in the weeds ready to make this comparison -- a spurious entirely misleading comparison.

    Say what you will about Obama firing McChrystal -- no one contends it was done for policy differences, for an unwillingness to hear disagreement, to tolerate dissent.

    It was done fundamentally to preserve the core principle of military deference to civilian authority -- a core nonviolateable basis of american democracy -- something that has distinguished it from the juntas and dictatorships of this hemisphere.

    I regret McChrystal's "firing" -- as I'm sure does Obama. But I understand why as painful and destructive it may well be -- it probably was unavoidable.

    As for an accurate comparison, I defer to Keith Olbermann (or his staff).

    Generalissimo junior's track record of firing and dismissing officers who had the balls to disagree with him is long and notorious.

    This alphabetical list comes from Olbermann's transcript:


    General John Abizaid of CentCom expressed public skepticism about the Bush surge in Iraq, replaced. General George Casey, Iraq, expressed public skepticism about the Bush surge in Iraq, replaced. Admiral William Fallon, ex-head of CentCom, told “Esquire Magazine” we should not use force against Iran, retired by Mr. Bush.

    Dr. Larry Lindsey, director of the National Economic Council, told Mr. Rumsfeld estimated that war in Iraq would cost 60 billion dollars. He said, no, 200 billion. Rumsfeld called that “baloney.” Lindsey was fired. It was “baloney.” It cost three trillion dollars.

    General Eric Shinsecki, Army Chief of Staff, warned that the Rumsfeld troop estimates were disastrously low, hundreds of thousands would be needed for occupation, “vilified, then marginalized” by Bush.

    General Anthony Zinni, Marines, Retired, Middle East Envoy, said that the President had far more pressing foreign policy priorities to face than Iraq, and that the trouble would start in Iraq after the war itself ended, not reappointed.

    Remember, this from the previous President whose empty, but lovely-sounding catchphrase was ‘I listen to the commanders on the ground.‘ It was true. He did listen. And then he fired all the ones who dared to tell him the truth.
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  4. #44  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    There will be legions conservative commentators laying in the weeds ready to make this comparison -- a spurious entirely misleading comparison.
    Let's keep in mind that while part of this is coming from what could be considered a conservative source, it's also coming from NPR.
    Say what you will about Obama firing McChrystal -- no one contends it was done for policy differences, for an unwillingness to hear disagreement, to tolerate dissent.
    No, but like Fallon, it was done to deal with comments made in an inappropriate setting. The difference where McChrystal is concerned is that most of the comments being attributed to him were not being made by him, nor directly about his CiC.
    It was done fundamentally to preserve the core principle of military deference to civilian authority -- a core nonviolateable basis of american democracy -- something that has distinguished it from the juntas and dictatorships of this hemisphere.
    It's always nice to see such flowery language reserved for the 'side' that we support. It's similar to how Chris Matthews criticizes Limbaugh for using 'regime' to describe Obama's admin while conveniently forgetting how often he described Bushie's admin with the same word.
    I regret McChrystal's "firing" -- as I'm sure does Obama. But I understand why as painful and destructive it may well be -- it probably was unavoidable.
    Personally, I don't regret it nor criticize it. He put himself into a stupid situation. He allowed a Rolling Stone (not exactly an impartial party where the military is concerned) reporter to tag along with his 'entourage'. I can't see what else he could have expected. His decision-making is obviously questionable.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  5. #45  
    Quote Originally Posted by tcrunner View Post
    Another distinction between those military commanders who were critical of the previous administration: McChrystal and his cronies were openly critical of the personal character of Obama and his team. Those critical of the previous administration were critical regarding military strategy. It is what it is.
    They were certainly critical of some of his team, but I didn't see any direct quotes where McChrystal criticized Obama or his character.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  6. groovy's Avatar
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    #46  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    It was done fundamentally to preserve the core principle of military deference to civilian authority -- a core nonviolateable basis of american democracy -- something that has distinguished it from the juntas and dictatorships of this hemisphere.
    While I disagree that this was the reason, I will agree that it should have been the reason. A man in his position should carry a more measured tone and should be more savvy about the world and those around him who don't necessarily wish him well. Right or wrong, the story took on legs and became too difficult to explain away; even if there was the will to explain it away, which there wasn't. I don't think Obama handled it particularly gracefully but neither is that particularly surprising. In my view, he did it in his typically smug, self-aggrandizing style.

    On a side note, I also notice the continued refrain of "Bush did it too" coming from Democrats and "nuevo-independents" and it makes me curious about something: is this meant to be a defense?
    Last edited by groovy; 06/23/2010 at 09:16 PM.
  7. #47  
    As a former military officer, there are two huge reasons why Obama was absolutely right to fire McChrystal:
    1. The whole civilian charge of the military thing. It's important. The military needs to be absolutely subservient to the civilian leadership. It is so important that it must absolutely never be questioned. These people can launch nuclear weapons. I want their fealty to be absolute. When you join the military, you give up certain rights. Freedom of speech is one of them.

    2. McChrystal showed unbelievably bad judgment in allowing this Rolling Stone reporter intimate access to him and his staff over the course of a month. It's such bad judgment that I almost think he did it on purpose to get out of there or something. I understand that he grew up in the Special Forces world and that those guys play things fast and loose. And I know that they have a different concept of leadership and rank there too (same ranks but they treat each other differently). But it doesn't take more than 2 seconds of thought to realize that the reporter might pick up on a few things and PUBLISH THEM IN A MAGAZINE! This is not someone I want in charge of anything but pure fighting. As the man in charge of Afghanistan, he's a whole lot more than just a pure warrior. This guy was our point man with Karzai?

    I also have to say, the fact that Obama got into this in the first place displays a tremendous weakness. If you need Rolling Stone to tell you about insubordination issues in your top ranking guy in your most important conflict, well, that isn't too good, is it?

    I certainly hope that Petreus can fix whatever is broken over there.
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  8. #48  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    is this meant to be a defense?
    It's certainly not a defensible defense. In either case, examples had to be made. The fact of the matter is that the office commands obedience and subordinance. One does not have to respect the office holder per se, but as members of the military they are required to conform to certain rules. Luckily, the members of the unorganized militia are not held to the same rules.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  9.    #49  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    it may have been necessary and appropriate -- but regrettable nonetheless.

    For all his documented faults (the Tillman scandal above all), I fear McChrystal may well have been the one irreplaceable man if there is to be any hope for success in the catastrophic war that junior left us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    Don't you ever get tired of Bush bashing? I mean really - move on Barye

    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    While I disagree that this was the reason, I will agree that it should have been the reason. A man in his position should carry a more measured tone and should be more savvy about the world and those around him who don't necessarily wish him well. Right or wrong, the story took on legs and became too difficult to explain away; even if there was the will to explain it away, which there wasn't. I don't think Obama handled it particularly gracefully but neither is that particularly surprising. In my view, he did it in his typically smug, self-aggrandizing style.

    On a side note, I also notice the continued refrain of "Bush did it too" coming from Democrats and "nuevo-independents" and it makes me curious about something: is this meant to be a defense?
    When you complain about my skating , is it reasonable of me to mention that you took an iron bar to my knee ??

    Is this not relevant information every time you complain about the state of my skating ??

    When does this fact stop being germane ??
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  10. groovy's Avatar
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    #50  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    It's certainly not a defensible defense. In either case, examples had to be made. The fact of the matter is that the office commands obedience and subordinance. One does not have to respect the office holder per se, but as members of the military they are required to conform to certain rules. Luckily, the members of the unorganized militia are not held to the same rules.
    True. If the case can be made on it's own merits, pointing out what Bush did or didn't do seems unnecessary; even gratuitous. I suppose a case can be made that precedent is always relevant. But given the extreme low regard with which these people hold our previous President, what they seem to be saying is that the current President is justified in his actions because he's doing things in a similar manner to, or at best not as bad as, one of the most wicked, vile and/or inept people in political history.

    With such high marks, the Nobel Peace prize was clearly in order.

    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    When you complain about my skating , is it reasonable of me to mention that you took an iron bar to my knee ??

    Is this not relevant information every time you complain about the state of my skating ??

    When does this fact stop being germane ??
    Is that really a proper analogy? Or are you just rationalizing your poor skating skills by pointing to the lousy skater ahead of you?
  11.    #51  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post

    Is that really a proper analogy? Or are you just rationalizing your poor skating skills by pointing to the lousy skater ahead of you?
    gee Mr. Eastwood -- BARYE can hardly walk, never mind skate. After that beating you gave my knees my legs barely hold my weight.

    Yet there you are with all your rich friends -- your hand before your smirking mouth, cackling about how BARYE can't skate, that BARYE should stop making excuses and slide his sorry monkey a*s off the ice.

    Repeatedly you taunt: "how long are you going to use that busted knee as an excuse -- when is it your fault that you can't skate ??"

    Despite the pain, the exhaustion -- BARYE doggedly continues to drag himself around the boards of the rink. A stranger from out of town skates up and wonders why I'm so feeble on skates -- why I don't just take them off and sit down on the spectator bench.

    Should I not mention what either they do not know or possibly had forgotten -- that you Mr. Eastwood had taken an iron bar to my knees ...??
    Last edited by BARYE; 06/24/2010 at 09:26 AM.
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  12. #52  
    This isn't the first time a General has expressed his opinions about Politics and War. I'm sure it will not be the last. The last 60 years certainly would have been different if Patton and MacArthur had their way.
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    #53  
    Can't see anything wrong with the firing. Private criticism of anyone's boss is one thing, but to do so, so publicly and against your Commander in Chief in a time of War is pretty insulting to the Office of the Presidency. I'm not fan of President Obama but he is the President and the office should be held with the respect it deserves.

    Welcome back General Petraeus

    As for an accurate comparison, I defer to Keith Olbermann (or his staff).
    You didn't use Keith Obermann as a source in an argument did you! That's as bad as using Hannity as a source . I can't say I'm a fan of President Bush either - never met a spending bill he didn't like, but come on use some info from a source that isn't so blatantly biased, even if some of your points are valid.
  14.    #54  
    Quote Originally Posted by solarus View Post
    Can't see anything wrong with the firing. Private criticism of anyone's boss is one thing, but to do so, so publicly and against your Commander in Chief in a time of War is pretty insulting to the Office of the Presidency. I'm not fan of President Obama but he is the President and the office should be held with the respect it deserves.

    Welcome back General Petraeus



    You didn't use Keith Obermann as a source in an argument did you! That's as bad as using Hannity as a source . I can't say I'm a fan of President Bush either - never met a spending bill he didn't like, but come on use some info from a source that isn't so blatantly biased, even if some of your points are valid.
    the information provided by Olbermann was accurate -- those folks were fired by junior.

    I can understand disapproving of his opinions -- but facts are independent of bias --
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  15. #55  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    but facts are independent of bias --
    To an extent, but how those facts are presented can be a different matter.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  16.    #56  
    I've heard some say that McChrystal deliberately spoke as he did in order to be fired -- in order to be able to run for President himself against Obama.

    The following article won't likely change the minds of those that believe this -- but its worth mentioning anyway...


    McChrystal politics tilts left; his HQ banned Fox News
    Thu Jun 24, 2010

    The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder reports that the hard-charging McChrystal not only voted for Barack Obama but is a "political liberal" and "social liberal." Of course, not all military leaders are conservative, but popular lore since at least George Patton's day has hard-charging generals on the ground leaning mostly to the right.

    Ambinder adds that the general wasn't a fan of the cable news network [FOX] that appears most pro-military, boasting commentators like Sean Hannity and Oliver North.

    "He banned Fox News from the television sets in his headquarters," Ambinder wrote. "Yes, really. This puts to rest another false rumor: that McChrystal deliberately precipitated his firing because he wants to run for president."

    Ambinder followed up on Twitter that McChrystal even used a description of the Rupert Murdoch-owned network that seems more likely to come from left-wing blogger: "faux news."

    The full article on which this comes is worth a read
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  17. #57  
    Perhaps it's the flawed policy in Afganistan that needs to go not McChrystal? The one thing that I admired about McChrystal was his concern for civilian casualties and his ability to run successful campaigns without politics. He did his job when it came to the x's and o's, but yes I do believe it was a mistake for him to badmouth policy. Perhaps Obama shouldve had a "beer summit" with the General, maybe they couldve worked things out? Instead the bring in Petraeus (who the libs called General Betrayus under Bush) who was hated by most liberals and now all of the sudden he's the golden boy? They certainly picked a "yes man" for the job.

    Ron Paul bucks wisdom on McChrystal
    Ron Paul bucks wisdom on McChrystal - Marin Cogan - POLITICO.com


    Ron Paul thinks President Obama got it wrong yesterday when he got rid of Stanley McChrystal.


    Of course, Paul, who's earned the nickname "Dr. No" in Congress, is used to being an outlier on congressional issues.


    "They should have changed the policy and kept the general. Maybe that would have been better," Paul said on Thursday. "But it's the policymakers that are at fault, not the generals, they tried to follow the orders but the policy behind it is at fault."


    Paul, a fierce critic of the war in Afghanistan, said that the inflammatory comments made by members of McChrystal's staff in Rolling Stone were evidence of frustration over what he says is the war's failed policy.


    "That McChrystal thing is just a symptom of what we won't face up to, which is that it's a totally failed policy," Paul said. "If we were on the verge of a great success, do you think we'd fire the general? So it was an absolute confirmation of the failed policy, and yet the policy doesn't change."


    Republican members have mostly been supportive of Obama's decision to replace McChrystal but keep the same counterinsurgency policy, which was largely based on McChrystal's recommendations.



    Read more: Ron Paul bucks wisdom on McChrystal - Marin Cogan - POLITICO.com
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  18.    #58  
    I've just finished read the Rolling Stone article that initiated the end of McChrystal's career.

    I was surprised both by how well written and thoughtful the article was -- and by how unperturbed I was by his controversial statements in context.

    Obama may well have needed to replace McChrystal if only to preserve the primacy of an elected President (especially a young, liberal, and relatively inexperienced one), over a powerful general.

    It is regrettable, nevertheless.

    I have no doubt that McChrystal was committed completely to this mission in a very earnest way -- and intended no deliberate insubordination. He was a very good general, and a very great leader and motivator.

    Ultimately McChrystal and his team were guilty of too much transparency, too much trust, and too much candor. They were foolish to give so much access to the RS writer. Foolish to have so few guidelines as to what might be off the record, and unreportable.

    Poor judgment -- but not insubordination, not treason.

    Though I am increasingly pessimistic that any form of success can still be retrieved in Afghanistan no matter who is in charge, McChrystal's departure meaningfully diminishes what potential still remains for a successful outcome there.
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  19. #59  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    I've just finished read the Rolling Stone article that initiated the end of McChrystal's career.

    I was surprised both by how well written and thoughtful the article was -- and by how unperturbed I was by his controversial statements in context.

    Obama may well have needed to replace McChrystal if only to preserve the primacy of an elected President (especially a young, liberal, and relatively inexperienced one), over a powerful general.
    Exactly right.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  20. groovy's Avatar
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    #60  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    Though I am increasingly pessimistic that any form of success can still be retrieved in Afghanistan no matter who is in charge, McChrystal's departure meaningfully diminishes what potential still remains for a successful outcome there.
    Unfortunately, this is the refrain from many on the Left. My thought is this was the intention all along: run on a platform of removing troops from an unpopular war in Iraq while showing strength by claiming we need to focus our efforts on AQ in Afghanistan. Once in office and an Iraq withdrawal plan is solidified, slowly let Afghanistan slip into oblivion and claim "it's Bush's war, it's Bush's fault".
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